Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

More Sanctions, Scholarship Cuts Being Proposed

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

More Sanctions, Scholarship Cuts Being Proposed

Article excerpt

INDIANAPOLIS -- The NCAA outlined plans Friday to penalize repeat rule-breakers with tougher sanctions, save money by cutting football and women's basketball scholarships and trim its massive 400-page rulebook.

All of this, NCAA officials hope, can be finished by August.

"We are dealing with some very real circumstances and business as usual isn't working," said Ed Ray, Oregon State president and chairman of the NCAA executive committee. "This is a supernormal process to get us from business as usual to being good stewards of intercollegiate athletics so that we take back the collegiate model from the people who are making the big bucks and who, frankly, don't give a damn about the integrity of the game or the welfare of the college student."

Julie Roe Lach, NCAA's vice president for enforcement, provided a preview into a new enforcement structure.

Infractions categories would be renamed egregious, serious, solid secondary and technical. If the rulebook is edited properly, something that NCAA leaders say remains on track, Lach believes technical violations could be scrapped or dealt with at the conference level.

Schools and coaches could also face more serious charges and penalties for aggravating circumstances such as repeat offenses or prior knowledge of the infraction. But they could be helped by mitigating circumstances such as institutional control, self- discovery and self-reporting.

Egregious violations could result in more postseason bans, too, something that has been used sparingly over the past decade though Lach said a recent survey of member schools rated that as the No. 1 deterrent to rule-breaking.

"I think giving schools credit for what is their obligation is just wrong-headed," said Jo Potuto, a constitutional law professor at Nebraska and former head of the infractions committee.

Potuto, however, agrees with some of the other changes.

The infractions committee could go from 10 members to 18 or more, allowing six- or seven-person panels to meet more regularly in an effort to speed up deliberations. …

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